Banning Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Cuts In-School Access

But U.S. state policies that ban sugar-sweetened beverages have no effect on overall consumption

TUESDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. state policies that ban all sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) reduce in-school SSB access and purchasing, but do not reduce their overall consumption, according to a study published online Nov. 7 in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Daniel R. Taber, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues investigated whether U.S. state beverage policies were associated with SSB access and purchases in schools, and overall SSB consumption (in and out of school). Across 40 states, data were collected from students in fifth and eighth grades in 2004 and 2007, respectively. State policies banned all SSBs or only soda in middle schools in 2006 to 2007. The main outcome measures were in-school SSB access and purchasing behavior, and overall SSB consumption in eighth grade.

The investigators found that the states which banned only soda, and those with no ban policy had similar proportions of eighth grade students with in-school SSB access (66.6 percent for both) and purchasing (28.9 and 26 percent, respectively). After multivariable adjustments, states that banned all SSBs had fewer students reporting in-school SSB access and purchasing. Students who reported SSB access or purchasing in fifth grade had similar results to those who did not. The state policy had no correlation with overall SSB consumption, with approximately 85 percent of students in each policy category consuming SSBs at least once in the previous week. Overall consumption was modestly associated with in-school SSB access in supplementary analyses.

"Any impact of state school-based SSB policies on youth dietary consumption may be modest without changes in other policy sectors," the authors write.

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